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Eco bags - DIY

How to make eco bags with your own print quickly and easily? Of course, using free designs from the Internet, Silhouette plotter and flex film!


How to make a print on a cotton bag?

On the Internet you can find many free designs to use with a plotter. We will use this great graphic found on Freepik.

You can open the pattern in Silhouette Studio as a JPG and use the Outline tool to create a vector border for it. However, if you are concerned about time and the accuracy of the pattern, expand Silhouette Studio to Designer or Business Edition. They give you the possibility to import a pattern saved as SVG (Designer) or also AI and CDR (Business), which is a ready-to-cut file.

See how it looks like to import and convert such a pattern, and then create a DIY custom printed bag.

Custom printed bag design

1. In Silhouette Studio (Business Edition), choose File -> Open and open the downloaded file.


2 In the window that appears, make sure that the Import as vector graphics option is checked. This will ensure that the file consists of pre-made cut lines and will not need to be reworked.
However, if you do not have the Business version, open the JPG file and transform it with the outline tool.


3. To edit individual parts, right-click on the pattern and select Ungroup. This will break up the pattern into individual parts.


4. Decide which parts you want to use and delete the remaining unnecessary parts. To do this, while holding down the Shift key, drag the mouse over the parts to select them. Then click Delete.


5. Move the tent away from the stars and place the inscription under it. Above the tent move the pattern of mountains and add some more stars. Remove the remaining elements as well.


6. Where the mountains intersect with the tent, it is worth making some corrections. Double-click on the pattern to enter point editing mode. Move the individual points so that the shape of the mountain does not intersect the tent or trees.


7. Group all elements of the design (Ctrl+G) and enlarge them to the desired size. Go to the page settings, and then adjust them to cut the film - select None in the Cutting mat section.


8. Go to the SEND tab. The Cut option will automatically be selected, but it will make the pattern cut where the mountains intersect with the tent.


9. For this reason, select the Cut edge option, which will make the pattern merge together for cutting.



When cutting flex or flock film, you need to create a mirror image of the design. You can do this yourself in selecting Object -> Mirroring -> Horizontal Invert in the top menu. However, if you select "Thermal Transfer" material in the tab, you do not need to create a mirror image. When you press the SEND button, a message will appear on the screen, where you select Send mirroring - the program will make the mirroring itself for the cut.

Load the film into the plotter. It has two sides - matte and glossy. The glossy side is the color you will use on the T-shirt or foil. When putting the foil into the plotter, place it with the glossy side down, matte side up. Cut on the matte side.
Then choose the appropriate settings and cut out your design.

Pressing the pattern

After cutting out, remove the foil from the plotter and take off the unwanted parts. It's a good idea to use a hook for this to make your work easier.


Iron the DIY cotton bag and lay the film on it with the transparent backing up. Use an iron or press to press the design. Gently remove the backing from the bag - for most films, this should be done while it is still warm.


And the DYI eco bag is ready! Remember not to wash the material for 24 hours after pressing the print, as the glue needs this much time to cure completely.


We also encourage you to read our tutorial: Flex film - how to make your own T-shirt?

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Made by: Michał Desol